The Australian Government has announced that it is eliminating the concurrent study function for international students, effective immediately.
This means that international students are no longer allowed to enroll in other courses in addition to the course they enrolled in as part of their student visa application.
In recent months, there has been growing concern around concurrent study (also known as dual study or concurrent enrolment).
In June 2023, reports began to emerge that indicated people were misusing the function.
Rather than using it as an add-on to their current studies, many students have been using it as a “loophole” to abandon their original studies and enroll in cheaper courses.
This is a violation of student visa regulations, which state that you must wait at least six months before changing your course.
According to the Australian Department of Education, this change does not impact students already holding concurrent enrolments.
According to a government statement, there has been a significant uptake in the number of concurrent enrolments this year, which is believed to have prompted the change.
There have been reportedly 17,000 concurrent enrolments created in the first half of 2023, compared to roughly 10,500 for the same period in 2019 and 2022 combined.
In his statement, Minister for Education Jason Clare expressed that the measure was to prevent “dodgy” education and training providers from exploiting international students.
“As students have come back, so have some dodgy and unscrupulous players who are trying to take advantage of them. This change will work to stop predatory ‘second’ providers from enrolling students before they have studied for the required six months at their first provider,” he said.
The measure was one of many announced by the government to maintain the integrity of the international education sector.
Other changes include the increase in savings that international students need to have to get a student visa.
This will be increasing to A$24,505, which is a 17 per cent increase on current levels, and will come into effect on 1 October 2023.